Shakopee, MN – A 55-year-old woman was beheaded in broad daylight on a sidewalk in Shakopee on Wednesday afternoon.
The gruesome attack occurred at the intersection of Spencer Street and Fourth Avenue at approximately 2:31 p.m. on July 28, the Shakopee Police Department (SPD) said in a press release.
The call to police came in as a stabbing, but when they arrived at the scene, they found 55-year-old America Mafalda Thayer’s bloody body on the ground with her head lying next to her, KMSP reported.
According to court documents, several witnesses saw the attack occur.
Investigators found a large knife sheath tossed in a nearby yard and located a knife in an alley trash can close to the scene, according to KMSP.
Police immediately turned their attention to Thayer’s long-term boyfriend, 42-year-old Alexis Saborit, and arrested him on a second-degree murder charge.
“At this time, investigators believe the suspect knew the victim and this wasn’t a random act,” the SPD confirmed.
Extremely graphic cell phone footage of the brutal murder was shared on social media.
“We are aware that a bystander took a video of this incident,” Shakopee Police Chief Jeff Tate told Bring Me the News. “We have that video. It is deeply disturbing that the first instinct was to post that on social media.”
“This woman has a son, has a family and people that care about her and the last place anyone should find out about a tragedy involving a loved one is via social media,” Chief Tate said. “Thankfully, we were able to apprehend this individual quickly.”
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the SPD are handling the ongoing investigation into Thayer’s murder, KMSP reported.
Sources who knew Thayer said domestic abuse had long been an issue in her relationship with Saborit.
Court records showed he had a prior conviction for domestic assault in 2017, KMSP reported.
At the time of Thayer’s murder, Saborit was out on bond for an arson charge for allegedly trying to burn down his apartment building last year.
That case is still pending.
Saborit was supposed to appear in court on the matter on Wednesday, but he never showed.
Thayer’s friends held a vigil Thursday near the scene of her murder, Southwest News Media reported.
“She was always really sweet,” said Walker Martinez, who knew Thayer from their chats at the local convenience store. “She was so kind-hearted and down to earth. She was a loving person.”
Thayer, an immigrant from Cuba, worked at the My Pillow store across the street.
“I knew her pretty well. We didn’t hang out but when I say she liked to work, she was putting in 70 hours a week,” coworker Jamie Worley told Southwest News Media. “She would basically go there all day, go home for a little bit and come back. I went there today and went to the store and got her a rose and a teddy bear to put on her desk. When I got there, I didn’t even look at any other of my co-workers. I just stood at her desk with my head down. Everyone was just crying. It was a very emotional day and it still is.”